Monday, May 06, 2013
Well, I've committed myself to getting back into shape, eating healthier, and being more active than I had been for the last few years while in school and recovering from my accident. Today I received the results from my screening evaluation for a voluntary wellness program through my employer. Some of the results were great and much better than they had been in the past. However, I am concerned that my hemoglobin A1c result (which gives you an idea of how well your blood sugar has been controlled for the last 3 months) puts me at a pre-diabetic level of 6.3. My nurse practitioner had been tracking it and it has always been under 5.7 (which is the highest normal).
I guess I'll look at this as my wake-up call. My weight is up about 8 lbs from where I'd like to be but still considered normal for my height. I have been walking but not as consistently and certainly haven't been having the more intense cardio workouts like I did before the accident (this was almost always done on my bicycle), and my diet hasn't been consistent. So....starting today I'm committing to be serious about my activity level which I believe is the biggest reason for my elevated levels. I'll also make sure I eat less junk food which is a weak spot for me (cakes, cookies, ice cream) which should also take care of my weight gain.
On the upside my cholesterol is pretty good-total is 148, HDL is 50 (high for me but really would be better if it was over 60), LDL was 87, triglycerides were 55, and my fasting glucose was 93. My family history of heart attacks at a young age makes it especially important for me to get my lifestyle factors under control....so I'll keep you updated on my struggle to get back to a healthy me.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Well, here I am, back after a seriously long hiatus from sparkpeople. Looking at my last post it has been almost a year and half since I was active at all on this site-and that was minimal. I feel blessed to be where I am today after not knowing how my life was going to turn out back in November of 2011.
If you read my previous blog I had been hit by a vehicle while on my bike-to make the story short I wound up with a severe concussion that threatened not only my ability to stay in grad school but also to stay working as a RN. I ended up taking off one month after the accident to try and recover and looking back I tried to go back to soon which just led to more problems with my recovery as well as led to me eventually losing my job after being on leave for another four months.
Basically the head injury made me impulsive and lets just say I might have said a lot of things to co-workers that should have kept to myself. I was also having trouble with short term memory even though my primary doctor and the neurologist I had seen told me I was fine and OK to go back to work. Well, I still had horrible headaches but was coping ok with regular life so I had gone back to work-that lasted for 4 months until my complaints to co-workers about my headaches combined with things I was saying made them concerned I wasn't fit to work. This led to much more specialized testing which showed my short term memory was hovering around the 18th percentile or so (my doctor said I probably should have been around the 90th percentile or higher). Given the test results and the complaints at work, my head injury doctor took me out of work until my results improved and said it would be better if I stopped school. After a long discussion about school she said as long as my clinical rotations were supervised I could continue with grad school. Well, I was still having a hard time learning and even reading a full page and retaining any information was next to impossible so one of my classmates who I had been studying with started reading me ALL the study guides and information I needed to know for the exams (talk about God putting people in your life for a big reason) and I found that although it as more difficult I could still learn and continue on in my graduate program.
Fast forward to today-I managed to finish grad school with a 3.96 GPA, pass my national certification to become a family nurse practitioner, get my license, and am now working at my dream job in an urgent care center. I still have pain in my right hand and wrist that is still being worked on, a few more aches and pains in my knees than before but I can tolerate that, my shoulders give me problems sometimes but it appears I will be able to avoid surgery to correct the torn cartilage. The main problem continues to be my headaches which seem to be worsened by activity that aggravates my neck and sunlight. I at least have finally found a doctor in town who can give me an occipital nerve block (it's a shot of lidocaine in the back of your scalp that works quite well for my particular headache type) which takes away the worst of the pain and more importantly allows me to tolerate being in the sun for small periods of time. I have neck pain that is probably the cause of my headaches and the doctor I see really wants me to have surgery on my neck as the headache never goes away I need the nerve blocks about every two weeks now. At this point I am holding off on surgery and waiting to see a specialist who is both certified for neurology and pain management and specializes in headaches. I'm hoping she will be able to help with other interventions not involving fusion of my neck. Either way I know everything will be ok and I'm learning to enjoy life again in spite of my limitations. Now, I just need to get back in shape and start eating healthy foods :)
Friday, December 23, 2011
I've been thinking a lot lately about how unpredictable life can be, how unfair, yet how much of it is still up to how I decide to handle what I've been dealt.
Life was rolling along as planned. I was on track to graduate in one year with my master's degree in nursing and the ability to practice as a nurse practitioner; I was working full time as an ER nurse, and life with my daughter and husband was going well. That all changed on November 18th when I was out on my weekly bike ride and was hit head on by a large commercial van while stopped at a light. I don't remember much as the van hit me, threw me quite a ways and knocked me out. I had damage to most of my extremities and especially my right knee where I believe the van probably made contact with my body.
I am lucky that I was wearing my helmet as I always do, that I wasn't killed, or that more permanent damage was not done to me. The bones of my lower leg are badly bruised and I have post-concussion syndrome that involves headache, dizziness, and concentration problems. My doctor prescribed Ritalin so I could take my final exams (I ended up passing them all) and I was even able to go back to work this week after being unable to function properly for the last 4 weeks. I am still in pain and loathe the dizziness that plagues me along with the difficulty remembering details but feel myself gradually returning to normal.
I am still a bit bitter that the man driving the van was careless and cut his left turn short leaving me wounded and all my plans for school and work were in jeopardy. I am frustrated by the other recent events in my life-my home was burglarized, and my dishwasher, refrigerator, and garbage disposal all decided to quit. However, in the grand scheme of things these are not permanent and are more of an annoyance.
I am back to being able to go for walks and look forward to being able to ride my bicycle again once the dizziness subsides. I long to be able to wake up one day without a headache, but know that time will also come. I am thankful that I am able to write this blog and enjoy the company of family and friends. Life IS good, and things will get better. :)
Here's a pic from last year's Thanksgiving ride (we usually ride just over 50 miles and stop at Starbucks half way for a treat)-couldn't do it this year but next year I'll be back!
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